HIPPsters! Serendipity! Graupner who?!
Updated: Jan 11, 2022
Several years ago I was presented with the opportunity to collaborate with a fantastic period instrument group to record an album. For my friends outside of the music scene, by "period instrument group" I am referring to performers who base their performances on historical data to create Historically Informed Performance Practice. Often this means using recreations of ancient instruments rather than modern, the use of historical temperaments (tuning systems), and historically informed stylistic choices. I jokingly refer to HIPP practitioners as HIPPsters.
As I was presented with this opportunity I began seeking repertoire to perform and record. As you all likely know, I LOVE the music of J.S. Bach (hence the Bach family tattoo on my forearm). However, I felt like the pressure of recording the Bach solo cantatas was just too great. There are so many fantastic recordings out there. What would I have to offer? So, I decided to investigate other German composers of the Baroque era.
Have you ever had one of the serendipitous moments where you are typing something into google, and something unexpected pops up as a suggestion in the search bar? While looking up another composer (I don't want to name names.....ok...it was Carl Heinrich Graun. Sorry Graun...it's not you, it's me.), I stumbled upon Christoph Graupner (1683-1760). I followed this internet rabbit hole for several hours, which then stretched into days, which has now continued for several years.
Did you know that there are 1400+ cantatas by Graupner?!!!
Did you know that Graupner was actually offered the position at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig BEFORE Bach, and when Graupner couldn't take the position, Bach was selected???? (Fun fact actually...Bach was the 3rd choice for the job!)
Did you know that digital scans of Graupner's original manuscripts (including the 1400+ cantatas) are available online here?
(Scan of original Graupner score from 1720!)
After several years, I am returning to my Graupner album project. There will be more blog posts about Graupner, the recording, and how you can support this recording project very soon. Please join my mailing list to stay informed of these updates!
In the meantime, you can read an article I wrote about Graupner for the Journal of the New York Singing Teachers Association (NYSTA) here.